After Arsenal got past Newcastle United 2-0 on Sunday, Mikel Arteta spoke to Arsenal’s official website to reflect on a comfortable win.
The North London club took an early lead through midfielder Mohamed Elneny and never looked like they would lose the game after that. And when captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored midway through the second half, it sealed a welcome three points for the club and the manager.
Mikel Arteta spoke about how strong the team looked right from the beginning. One notable incident was the injury that David Luiz suffered and when the Spaniard was asked about it, he said:
“We don’t know. He felt something in his hamstring so it’s not good news. He’s put such a shift to be back with the team for the last few weeks after the knee surgery, and it’s real a shame.”
The Brazilian looked to be at his best returning to the playing eleven. Luiz played an important part in creating the opening goal as well. Another noteworthy performance was that of youngster Gabriel Martinelli who proved to be a real threat every time he got the ball. Arteta said about the Brazilian’s performance:
“I think they all played really well. Gabi’s improving every week. He’s taking his minutes in the right way. He’s developing in the way we all believe he can. Today he had an assist, some good moments on the left and trying to play him as no.9 as well.”
The last part of Arteta’s comment on Martinelli sounds pretty interesting, as the Spanish boss suggested that the forward can be used in a more central role in the future. There was a lot to be happy about with the way the North Londoners played on Sunday. The boss made changes which worked, and they all had a part to play in getting past the Magpies.
Arsenal will go into Thursday’s semi-final second leg with a lot more confidence post this performance. They will need as much momentum as possible to get the better of Villarreal as they are already behind in the tie. It will be interesting to see which players have managed to impress the boss enough to be in contention for the midweek game.
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